Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
School Dances in Middle School Are Ridiculous
I have a variety of family members and friends who just went through the "Grade 8 Graduation" rite of passage. It seems like that grad is getting almost as big as high school grad, at least if you take the thought that goes into the dresses into account.

I agree that it's fun to celebrate kids' milestones, but I would do it quite differently. Here, for example, is how we threw a blessing party for my oldest when she turned 13, and is pretty much exactly what we'll do for my youngest this summer.

But what they do at grade 8 grad doesn't celebrate these kids' talents and potential and gifts, but instead forces them into grown-up situations for which they are probably not prepared.

When I was in grade 7 & 8 I loved going to school dances. I had crushes on different boys, and the thought that I may actually get to dance with them was so exciting! But just because I enjoyed it as a kid doesn't mean it was right. I would have done far better not going and not getting so caught up in them. It was after one of those dances that I had my first "boyfriend", and that was a big disaster. Why bother when you're 13?

I don't blame the kids for wanting to go. In a way I don't even blame the parents, although more should be smarter and just say no. I blame the schools. As a parent, it is hard to tell your child they can't go to a dance when it is the social event of the year and everyone is going to it. Of course, just because it's hard doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but I do sympathize with parents in that situation.

What I can't figure out is why schools insist on perpetuating this charade--that 12-14-year-olds are old enough to "couple off". Because that's what dances are for--they encourage coupling off. I know some of my 13-year-old friends who went to dances last week for grad who have now announced on Facebook that they are "going out". And they're going to movies, and they're hanging out together, and they're thinking of themselves as a couple. And 13 is too young for that.

Why force kids to think romantic when they would be more than happy being friends at that age? Why don't schools encourage kids to do fun things in groups, rather than allowing them to pretend they're grown up when they're not? Dating at 14 does few people any good, and does lots serious harm. The earlier you begin dating the earlier sexual activity is likely to start, even if it doesn't start with that relationship. You think of yourself as needing another half, and the longer you date, the more likely that you are going to take that relationship a step farther, because what else is there to do? It's not like you can get married or move in together at 15.

I'm not saying that everyone who dates at 13 is going to become pregnant at 15. Of course not. But it certainly makes it more likely, and given our school board is desperate to decrease teenage pregnancy, you'd think they'd figure out that encouraging young kids to date is stupid.

But that's not the only harm. There's also harm because kids are just not allowed to be kids anymore. They start wanting to grow up and wanting to do adult things, even though they are not emotionally adults yet. But they think of themselves that way, and they lose out on the fun that can come from being simply 13.

Am I being a fuddy duddy? I don't mean to be. I know a lot of the pressure for grade 8 dances comes from the kids themselves, who would rebel if the dances were called off. But I don't see why you couldn't do something really fun instead--a field trip to an amusement park, or a camping trip, or something other than a dance. And just because kids would complain doesn't mean that we're not right. We, after all, are the adults. They are not. And we should stop encouraging them to think that they are.


Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Labels: , ,


At 9:37 AM , Blogger LauraLee Shaw said…

I have nothing to add to this except the biggest, loudest AMEN you've ever heard!


At 10:48 AM , Anonymous Quiet-Mom said…

Preach it and Amen! :)


At 2:51 PM , Anonymous Sistergirl said…

I agree, My sons school middle school includes 6th - 8th dance. The pressure on the 6th grade boys was awful. They didn't want to go would have preferred a middle school Game Night/Carnival type event than a "real" dance. It end up being the typical boys on one side and girls on the other. Some school administrators do not seem to get it.


At 3:53 PM , Blogger Lovin'Life said…

Agree completely! Well written!!!


At 2:28 PM , Blogger Allyson Taylor said…

I agree completely

As a sophomore in college who went to a small, private school (K-12) where dancing was a "sin," we didn't even have the opportunity to go to a formal event until junior year (unless asked by an upper classman freshman or sophomore year). My school never encouraged coupling off--they encouraged groups and having friends of both sexes. The farther I get away in my years from that school, the more I come to appreciate the "annoying" things and rules that we had to put up with.


At 3:35 PM , Blogger Sheri said…

Completely unnecessary.

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails